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Ratibida - Growing Guide
Mexican hat, Prairie coneflower
These are drought resistant perennials originating from the prairies of North America and Mexico which are fully hardy in the UK. Ratibida are another genus of attractive border plants which have daisy-like flowers with cone shaped centres and florets although they are perhaps less well known in the UK than Helenium or Rudbeckia. They however have much the same characteristics in terms of size, flowering times, and suitability of their flowers for cutting as these other genera.
R. columnifera f. pulcherima grows to around 12-24in in height and has purple-brown or reddish-brown ray florets on its flowers which appear from early summer and carry on to early autumn.
R. pinnata, the drooping coneflower, grows to around 4ft in height when in full flower and has bright yellow drooping ray florets around a red-brown oval cone-shaped centre. Again this species flowers away from summer to autumn.
Ratibida need to be grown in full sun and, deadheading old flowers, will encourage the production of more. The clumps will extend to 1-2ft in width and the roots can be divided to create new plants in spring.